Winchester woman receives presidential award

Brittney Woodrum received the Presidential Service Award from President Joe Biden.

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – A woman from Winchester was surprised to receive the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from President Joe Biden for her mountain climbing service work in 2020. Growing up, Brittney Woodrum says serving others was just a part of her routine and a cornerstone in her being, instilled by her mom. With this core value and a heart for helping others in need, Woodrum knew when the pandemic hit that she wanted to do everything she could to support people that lost the most basic of needs, like a place to live.

“I have this great passion for helping those who have lost everything, especially by like no fault of their own,” says Woodrum.

Woodrum says during the pandemic, she had a free summer for the first time in a long time and decided to take action to give back. She says she wanted to combine her passion for helping others with her love for being outdoors. Thus, her goal to climb the 58 14,000 feet peaks in Colorado was born. Woodrum became an ambassador with Shelterbox, an organization that provides emergency shelter and supplies to families in need after they’ve lost their home to a disaster, like COVID-19.

“At the time, I was living in Denver, kind of looking out at the mountains and I thought you know, it seems fitting that I should go out and find some physical mountains to climb as we as this global community are kind of coming together to wrestle with and overcome the very abstract and metaphorical mountain that was and is to this day COVID-19,” says Woodrum.

Woodrum says she knew her goal was ambitious as most climbers set out to summit all 58 peaks throughout their lifetime, but her goal was to do all of them during the summer months of 2020. Woodrum says having little prior mountain climbing experience made her nervous and gave her her fair share of naysayers, but she was determined.

“Beyond my wildest belief, it seemed like every single day with every single mountain the project gained more traction and more attention,” says Woodrum.

Woodrum says she never expected to get an award for her service, but it’s an exciting cherry on top of her project that’s raised over $100,000 for Shelterbox to date. Woodrum is living in Colorado now and working towards fighting food insecurity in the area.

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